I bumped into an interesting blog Feministe through a tweet by @kidsgoape. It concerned the prospect of not assuming the gender of a child, but letting the child choose their own gender. Click here.
Here’s my take on the issue. It is clear that there are a small percentage of cases where the attribution of gender because of genitalia has caused psychological problems for the child. But this is a very small number. I am guessing that number must be less than 1 percent, less than those who eventually declare themselves to be gay.
I agree with Holly that mistakes have been made, and against the absolutists who force the gender issue, I say, “Give it a break! There is a wide variability in human children, enough to suggest that absolute answers are mistaken.” But I say this to Holly as well as to the physiology=>Gender police.
Holly, attempting to protect the tender sensibilities of those few children who are traumatized by this issue, she wants to force all parents to allow their children to decide what their gender is. This is as much a mistake as allowing the normalizing power of patriarchy to guide the decisions of women. Most kids, under Holly’s rule would choose the gender their genitalia dictates, but some who would otherwise prosper in blissful naivete would be thrown into a psychological thunderstorm and suffer terrible doubts, and worry incessantly about their gender.
I understand and appreciate the sentiment that drives the radical to want things to be different, but to totalize a rule because of the warranted mistakes of a few parents is overreacting. The reason radical feminism failed to keep the attention of the public is that ordinary men became their enemies. Holly will make enemies of ordinary parents with this line of reasoning.